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Weight - wise and/or legal


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1 hour ago, Flying Grandad said:

I've just been to check in my V5. That gives Mass in Service as 2067 kg. The Nissan brochure quotes 1991 kg for Kerbwieght. The MIS is actually heavier than the "Kerbweight". That was also true for my previous vehicle (Nissan X-Trail) Maybe it's peculiar to Nissan.


Your mass in service clearly just adds the 75kg for the driver to the quoted kerb weight!

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As with Stevan The only time I've ever seen a car and caravan on its side was in France and the car a Discovery. Crazy driving rather than weight ratios? 

That short-lived regulation allowed outfits under 100% towing ratio to tow at 50 mph, otherwise it was restricted to 40 - that was lifted to 60 mph in the mid-80s.

I have noticed that a lot of the 4x4 brigade do seem to think they are invincible - tramping along at silly speeds with trailers or caravans hooked on, wading through deep water without knowing what i

Published kerbweight vs Mass In Service on a printed V5 document for the same vehicle...  The Freelander 2 I owned was circa 16-1700kg vs circa 1950kg - a not to be sniffed at difference.  (Precise numbers I'll have posted on here before if anyone wants to be accurate).

 

Ford tend to publish more reliable numbers for KW in their brochures, and one that varies with the trim/engine/gearbox/driven wheels. 

My current Ford car is published KW 1935kg and V5 states...  exactly the same number.

 

Other vehicle makers will give variable mileage ;) 

 

I'd recommend the OP check their V5 in case it gives a different figure to the brochure kerbweight, but I'd not be happy towing with the numbers given in the original post.   It's almost a given that the caravan will be loaded up close to MTPLM (and often over).  I use a Caravan Weight Control and my 1499 MTPLM is usually a bit under 1460-70 kg - but mainly because I need to empty the front lockers/under seat areas of heavy stuff into the car to get the nose weight down to 85-90kg.  No awnings or chairs in the 'van either!

2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

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The guidelines are MTPLM should be under 85% of Kerbweight for a novice and up to 100% for an experienced tower. Those who produced the ratios understood that vans may sometimes weigh less than MTPLM and that cars will normally weigh more than Kerbweight, but those are relatively fixed figures that allow a ratio to be calculated. Adding weight and then applying the same ratio is wrong. 

 

Your car has a kerbweight of 1267kg and your van an MTPLM of 1350kg, that's a ratio of 107% and therefore outside the industry guidelines as above, both 85% and 100%.

 

You say your car manufacturer has set a 1500kg towing limit and your caravan is inside that. That's saying that the manufacturer accepts liability under warranty for pulling any weight up to 1500kg. It does not testify as to how well it will tow a caravan, just that the manufacturer is happy nothing will break and that it shouldn't overheat and will stop under braking in a reasonable distance.

 

You say the car's Gross Train Weight is 3309kg, which if the van is loaded to MTPLM (1350kg) leaves 1959kg for the loaded car, but in any case the car's maximum weight is below that at 1809kg. If the Kerbweight is correct then you have a maximum of 1809kg minus 1267kg = 542kg that you can load in the car. This includes people, towbar, van noseweight and any luggage. Two people plus towbar and noseweight can use up half of that payload, without any other gear on board.

 

So the rig looks legal, but it's not advisable under industry guidelines.

 

You also haven't mentioned any power to weight ratio and this can determine whether you have a relaxing drive or are always stirring the gearbox to make progress. 

 

 

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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5 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

Out of curiosity, when you say "investigate", was that as a qualified collision investigator, fully hands on forensically as in attend the scene, take measurements, carry out forensic vehicle examinations, produce scale plans, collision reconstruction etc. or sitting at a desk drawing conclusions from driver and witness explanations and the outcome of any prosecution or inquest?

For me all of the above plus vehicle reconstruction where required. Usually on behalf of a manufacturer or their insurer.  I did 11 in the UK and Europe all British built (with the exception of a Fendt that was hit by a Spanish train) between April 2016 and March 2018, 7 were TA , 4 SA all but 1 were <90% the other was 94% .  In all cases there was no mechanical defects on the trailer 2 had problems with the car.  

Mostly the results were seen to be as a result of excessive speed and in particular poor anticipation and late braking. (And maybe the same can be said for the Spanish train)

Edited by Towtug
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VW Passat Alltrack. V5.   Mass in service.  1670kg

According to VW Maximum weight which can be towed is 2200kg.

Coachman   Vision  450/2.     MTPLM.                1325kg

Maybe I’m crazy, but it’s great to be well on top of the job.  I have done a lot of touring around UK and France (they have a few hills over there!)  and it’s comforting to know that l can tackle most routes without any worries.  The outfit is a pleasure to drive and returns very good fuel costs and performance.  I would not contemplate driving the sort of outfit being proposed by the OP.

          John.    :D

Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, why humiliate him?

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I'm not a legal expert so this is only my opinion for experience,

 

Is it legal?  Yes its within the towing capacity of the car so in a court you couldn't be prosecuted. It is not overloaded.

 

Is it safe? To many factors come into this. So if it is within the 85% rule does not mean it is stable? Side winds, loading, trucks passing etc effect all outfits. The higher the ratio the more the effect of external factors . A Range Rover with a good match traveling at 70- 80 is more dangerous than an 85%+ match at 50 - 60mph on a motorway. The evidence in this is that HGV`s blow over in crosswinds,

 

The answer here is what do your insurance company say.  This is not just the car insurance but more the caravan insurance. My caravan insurance has a clause in the small print that the weight needs to be within "I think it was 90%" but would need to check the documents to be sure. 

 

So in short the answer will be within the small print of your insurance documents and it is very important to meet these requirements or if the worst happens they wont pay out or wont pay out fully in the event of a claim.

 

 

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Thanks guys. 

Jezzerb - i’ve got the same car as you.

I think it is clear, if i’m going to increase the weight of my caravan i’m also going to have to change my car.

Paul

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One thing that has not been mentioned so far is the power:weight ratio.

 

 

An old rule of thumb is that if the power to weight ratio (actual Laden Weights) is below 40bhp/tonne, towing becomes hard work. From the figures others have quoted you are at this before putting anything in the car!

 

 

 

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85% is only a recommendation not a rule that new owners and first time towing but the ratio is not as important as the correct loading .

 

 

As said you need to consider that the vehicles trainweight is based on an incline of only 12% and there are plenty of hills that are more and you could find a situation of stopping in traffic conditions on hills and you need to consider or be aware of . Some vehicles the trainweight is subject to extra cooling when using near full weights which needs to be checked especially if under a warranty conditions .

 

I always work to 75% maximum of the trainweight myself so I have some spare .

 

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

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On 17/01/2020 at 22:53, Paul90125 said:

Thanks guys. 

Jezzerb - i’ve got the same car as you.

I think it is clear, if i’m going to increase the weight of my caravan i’m also going to have to change my car.

Paul

Don't  change the car the Duster is a BRILLIANT car and will tow 1350kg with ease-we towed 1450kg of Bailey Pegasus and it was rock solid. Try it first before you listen to the doomsayers.  It is a truly great car-it actually towed our Pegasus better than it did our lighter and smaller Avondale!

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On 17/01/2020 at 13:17, Legal Eagle said:

Out of curiosity, when you say "investigate", was that as a qualified collision investigator, fully hands on forensically as in attend the scene, take measurements, carry out forensic vehicle examinations, produce scale plans, collision reconstruction etc. or sitting at a desk drawing conclusions from driver and witness explanations and the outcome of any prosecution or inquest?

 

The level of investigation will vary according to the severity of the claim. Where there is no third party claim, then any investigation tends to be basic, if you have potentially large third party claims then you can spend more, so the investigation varies enormously.

For me to have been involved it would normally mean a visit to the driver and an initial assessment of the accident, and then we would decide what further needs to be done if anything.  Collision reconstruction would be very unlikely though.

1 hour ago, Jezzerb said:

Don't  change the car the Duster is a BRILLIANT car and will tow 1350kg with ease-we towed 1450kg of Bailey Pegasus and it was rock solid. Try it first before you listen to the doomsayers.  It is a truly great car-it actually towed our Pegasus better than it did our lighter and smaller Avondale!

 

I am sorry but your suggestion is wrong. The car must be heavy enough to control the caravan in the event of an emergency and with those weights that is very doubtful. You may get away with it but that is probably just luck.

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I would not want to tow a Pegasus with a Duster, just would not feel safe.

We towed our Pegasus 534 with a Kia Sorento which was rock solid and had plenty of pull.

We now have a Unicorn Cadiz which is similar weight,  our Santa Fe with its 200bhp and lots of  torque tows it effortlesly and safely.

Nothing against Dacia Duster,  I reckon its a good value for money 4x4 or 2wd depending on version.

Hyundai Santa Fe+Bailey Unicorn Cadiz

Mini Cooper convertible -fun Car!:)

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4x4 1.6 petrol-100% safe at legal speeds on motorways in Hurricane Brian up to Ben Nevis in Scotland-we did 30000 towing miles without a wobble and another 10000 solo without anything other than  standard servicing. Rotating tyres on the Continental LX we still had 4mm all round when we sadly sold it! Another 10bhp would have made me have to think about hills a bit less -always did 23mpg towing too. Still miss it!

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Not 100% on this,

My car unloaded weight is 49kg lighter than the caravans MTPLM.

 

Car 1501kg (google)

Caravan 1550kg (Coachman weight upgraded)

 

Had a few niggles stability wise when I changed the car last June, I added weight into the car, caravan still at its actual weight hovering around 1530kg  (shared between single axle and hitch @ 85kg) drives solid now at speeds of upto but no more than 60mph on cruise, gets a bit twitchy above.

 

I'm not sure how relevant the 85% guide is anymore. Even back then some caravans had shock absorbers some didnt.

I am a lorry driver so a little more aware than most, you also cant compare because articulated lorrys are outfits, that being tractor and trailer interact far more than car caravan combinations, even more so with today's tech on board.

 

Having said the above for me it would depend on how often your going to tow it. I'm now down to 2 holidays a year in the caravan, so I didnt want the caravan dictating what car I drive, it didnt, I bought petrol, if I turned the clock back a few years and was out towing every other weekend my car choice would be different

 

 

Edited by Wellys and Mac
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W&M

Your 1501kg/1550kg is a 103%  ratio and the odd 3% over isn't going to make a massive difference. The point about the ratios is that they are guides for the unknowing that will keep them out of trouble should the worst happen. Many would and will never get into a situation where the weights become a factor, but the ratios are there to try and ensure that if they do hit probs, weight won't make it worse. I mean it's not like a rig suddenly becomes undriveable at 100.1%, or that you notice a dramatic improvement at 84%.

And if your car is a recent VAG product it's possible the empty weight doesn't include the 75kg allowance for a driver that has been included in previous generation's published weights and is included by most other car makers. If that's the case then your rigs ratio is 95% not 103%.

 

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I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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The difference between the V5 figure of Mass in Service and kerbweight is not just the 75kg for the driver and 10% less content in the fuel tank.

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Wellys & Mac, Basically all expert advice is that the car should not have a kerb weight lower than the MTPLM of the caravan, I appreciate this example is apparently  only 3% over, but you do have to draw a line somewhere. Personally I would not consider towing at that ratio and regard 100% as being too high for most combinations.

If it is twitchy at 60 then it sounds like a dubious match, the towing ratio is not an exact science, some cars cannot manage it, while others seem to be able to. If you are not happy with the towing performance you have probably answered your own question, and another car looks to be the answer.

For the weight, I would rather rely on the manufacturers figures than Google though although many people seem to find them low. A check on a weighbridge is the only sure way of getting the truth.

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Here's an example of the weight info from a Skoda Octavia Hatch brochure. It's the SE Drive trim with 1 litre petrol 115PS manual.

 

Clearly the max towing weight is dependent on the gradient and the kerbweights with and without driver have 75kg between them. What's weird is that both sets of kerbweights have a range of 163kg when surely there can be only one minimum? We're talking about the same trim model, same engine and same gearbox. All I can think is that the lower figure is the minimum and the upper figure is fully kitted out with all the optional extras possible, but then it should be labelled 'maximum' kerbweight.

 

Obviously actual kerbweight will vary dependant on component densities etc but I can't think that body panel thickness between individual examples would vary by more than a few kg.

 

'Max. towing weight - braked 12% / 8% gradient - kg  1,300/1500

Max. towing weight - unbraked - kg 620

Minimum kerbweight (with driver) - kg 1,246-1,409 

Minimum kerbweight (without driver) - kg 1,171-1,334

Turning circle - kerb to kerb 10.4

Nose weight - kg 75' 

 

Using the figures supplied you could have an 85% ratio of between 995kg and 1198kg and if you were going for 100% the range would be 1171kg to 1409kg

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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The 85% or 100% figures are only a very rough guide (except in the eyes of some insurance companies). 

An outfit does not become magically unstable at 101%, any more than it becomes invincible at 84%!

I used to tow at around 120%, with no stability issues whatever, but have known people who have had serious stability problems below 85%.

To me it is comical to see people doing all sorts of mathematical gymnastics with different definitions of kerbweight etc. to try and fit in with  a guide that has absolutely no real evidence to support it.

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

The 85% or 100% figures are only a very rough guide (except in the eyes of some insurance companies). 

An outfit does not become magically unstable at 101%, any more than it becomes invincible at 84%!

I used to tow at around 120%, with no stability issues whatever, but have known people who have had serious stability problems below 85%.

To me it is comical to see people doing all sorts of mathematical gymnastics with different definitions of kerbweight etc. to try and fit in with  a guide that has absolutely no real evidence to support it.

 

The Germans use a 100% ratio to determine speed limits under Tempo 100 - go over the 100% and the towing speed limit is reduced to 80 km/h (49.7 mph)

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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I dont think being over the guideline is a question of "Everday' towing stability.

It's more a question of when the trailer (caravan) gets into trouble, that's when weight becomes the dictating issue.

So I and others can post an outfit match of 100% plus without issue, because under every day towing that's to be expected, why wouldnt it be?

The guideline is more looking at what I would label the pendulum effect, the heavy trailer moving freely without the stabilising effect of a heavier car.

But today we have ATC, I have, we have Alko everything on the caravan, stability programming on some cars, I believe mine has, so the guide is really there as a stop safe for a what if event for a type of outfit that some of us, if not in part most of us no longer have.

 

Edited by Wellys and Mac
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3 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

Obviously actual kerbweight will vary dependant on component densities etc but I can't think that body panel thickness between individual examples would vary by more than a few kg.

 

'Max. towing weight - braked 12% / 8% gradient - kg  1,300/1500

Max. towing weight - unbraked - kg 620

Minimum kerbweight (with driver) - kg 1,246-1,409 

Minimum kerbweight (without driver) - kg 1,171-1,334

Turning circle - kerb to kerb 10.4

Nose weight - kg 75' 

 

 

For a start, kerbweight is specific to the vehicle in question whereas mass in service isn't.

 

The biggest variation that we, as car manufacturers, identified on otherwise identical cars was in the weight of the sprayed underbody protection. Added to that, sheet metal and paint thickness tolerances accounted for a total of up to 50kg variation. Far bigger is the variation due to differences in equipment specification. Even the same model with the same engine could vary by as much as 150kg depending on the level of equipment and none of that would show up in the mass in running order (unless specified as a range, as above).

 

Just a note to the quoted figures above, if with the driver it can't be called kerbweight, because kerbweight, by definition, is without the driver.

 

2 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

The Germans use a 100% ratio to determine speed limits under Tempo 100 - go over the 100% and the towing speed limit is reduced to 80 km/h (49.7 mph)

 

The above only applies to caravans and specifically to those fitted with dampers. Different values apply for other configurations. They can be as little as 30% (if no dampers are fitted) to 120% (for trailers other than caravans).

Edited by Lutz
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A reduction in speed is very sensible, far more than the guide.

Better to prevent as the German example would appear rather than cure, which is what our guide seems to do.

Only last week, remember the winds?, I was advising a fellow lorry driver to reduce speed to 50mph from our usual 52.8 mph as the increase in stability was noticeably, we drive german tractor units coupled to 16 foot high trailers.

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